Maria Eagle's Reaction to Norman Bettison's Hillsborough Book
The book is ill-timed, ill-judged and an inappropriately self-serving and partial account, exactly what one would expect of such a venture.
Far from being “Untold”, the book is a rehash of the usual narcissistic and partial account from Mr Bettison which, following the publication of the HIP report and the Inquest verdicts of Unlawful Killing can be seen for what it is. The fact that he has chosen to publish a book six week before the IPCC and the CPS are due to decide whether to press criminal charges in the aftermath of the Unlawful Killing verdicts and whilst the possibility of civil claims arising out of the Hillsborough disaster, the coverup and its aftermath remains is entirely inappropriate and wrong.
I stand by everything that I have ever said about the disaster, both inside and outside the House of Commons, its aftermath and the long fight of the families and survivors for truth and justice. I don’t feel the need to defend my actions or my words against his criticisms. Time and events have shown that I was right. Suffice it to say that I stand by everything I have ever said about Hillsborough both inside and outside the House of Commons, including about Mr Bettison’s role in the aftermath.
I think only about the families of those who died, many of them my constituents, the traumatised survivors and the traduced people of Merseyside, who have suffered the consequences of how SYP decided to handle Hillsborough over the intervening years.
I will not get drawn at this stage into detailed rebuttals of what he says which may interfere in any way with the decisions the IPCC and CPS are making about whether there should be criminal charges relating to the disaster and its aftermath, the subsequent cover up and the way in which SYP and others chose to conduct themselves.
That would be to play his game.
The release of Bettison's book has been reported widely in the media, below are links to some of the coverage:
- Listen to an interview with Bettison, followed by comments from me on BBC Radio Merseyside - BBC Radio Merseyside
- Read Paddy Shannon's reaction to the book in the Liverpool Echo - www.liverpoolecho.co.uk
- Read David Conn's Piece in the Guardian - www.theguardian.com
- Watch a clip of Bettison trying to defend his book - www.bbc.co.uk
- Or watch the full interview from Newsnight - BBC Newsnight